#4: Pick Your Battles: Conducting Efficient & Effective Targeted Surveillance in Your Facility
At the recent Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of American (SHEA) Spring 2017 Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Laurie Conway, RN, PhD, CIC, proposed that when it comes to surveillance targets, “infection preventionists (IPs) need to ‘pick their battles,'” because surveillance takes up about 44% of their time and only about one-third of hospitals have electronic surveillance systems; this means that IPs need to choose wisely when it comes to how best to spend their time.
According to Dr. Conway, the two ways to choose surveillance targets are: regulatory mandates and formal risk assessments. In addition to these federal mandates, there are also state mandates that are updated regularly. To know which local / state mandates to target, IPs need to perform formal risk assessments, otherwise known as, infection control risk assessments (ICRAs). These should be completed annually, taking into account “the community that you serve, the services you provide, what services are building, what [ones] are winding down as well as the case mix that provides.” Existing healthcare-associated infection rates should also be considered and any trends should be noted. IPs should also take into account the antibiogram, as well as the infrastructure of the facility he or she serves.
Dr. Conway went on to identify two tools that can be used to complete the risk assessments, and then four ways to effectively and efficiently conduct targeted surveillance at a facility.
To learn more about how to effectively “pick your battles” when choosing surveillance targets, go here